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" My parents were gigantic influences on me. I had a deep hunger to impress my father, who was a professor and an intellectual. I wanted his approval. "
" When I don't get enough sleep, I am cranky, vulnerable to headaches, and my concentration is poor. "
" I saw Joseph Cornell's lyrical work for the first time at the Museum of Modern Art in the late seventies and have internalized many of his boxes. "
" The mind-brain is lived only from a first-person perspective, and it is a dynamic, plastic organ that changes in relation to the environment. "
" I'd been writing poems for many years, but most of them I didn't like. Then, when I was 23, I wrote one I did like, sent it to 'The Paris Review' - the highest publication I could think of - and they accepted it. No other moment in my literary life has quite come close to that. "
" I have a tendency to face my bad fantasies in my books. "
" Flashbacks rarely involve language. Mine certainly didn't. They were visual, motor, and sensory, and they took place in a relentless, horrifying present. "
" I bought myself a rubber brain, familiarized myself with its many parts, listened intently, and read more. In fact, I read obsessively, as my husband has told me repeatedly. He has even suggested that my rapacious reading resembles an addiction. "
" I knew I wanted to be a writer at 13. Before that, I told everyone I was going to be an artist. "
" I've come to understand that migraine is a part of the personality. I have migraine troughs. These often follow high productivity. I have a hypo-manic phase, then I'll crash. "
" Rage has such focus. It can't go on forever, but it's invigorating. "
" There is a difference between using a made-up name and using real people as pseudonyms. People are not costumes you can wear. They are flesh and blood. "
" The relationship between the imagined and the real is more complicated than people imagine. "
" We live in a culture that is much happier talking about organic brain disease than about psychic illness because the former suggests that something that is physically wrong in a brain is wholly unrelated to that person's upbringing or experiences in the world, but that is not necessarily true. "
" Every time the DSM prepares for a new edition, there are countless groups lobbying to get their particular mental illness recognized by the diagnostic manual. Surely, this is a social and cultural phenomenon. "
" Years ago, when I was in Siena for the first time, I saw the works of Duccio, whose deeply emotional painting from the thirteenth century has never left me. "
" There is no reason we should expect young children to enter the nocturnal darkness of sleep and dreams without help. "
" The brain is an immensely complex organ, and many mysteries remain. Exactly how brain and mind or soma and psyche are related is one of them. "
" In sleep, we leave behind the sensory stimulation of the outside world. "
" Most of us accept that although we may believe our dreams to be real events, upon waking, we can tell the difference between nocturnal hallucinations and reality. "
" I found myself fascinated by neuroscience, attended a monthly lecture on brain science at the New York Psychoanalytic Institute, and was invited to become a member of a discussion group devoted to a new field: neuropsychoanalysis. "
" Children are not in a position to assess risk and safety; it must be done for them, and it must be done carefully. "
" I have a longstanding fascination with visual art. I do, in fact, draw as well, as I did in 'The Summer without Men.' I also write essays about visual art. "
" Both depression and anxiety disorders, for example, are repeatedly described in the media as 'chemical imbalances in the brain,' as if spontaneous neural events with no relation to anything outside a person's brain cause depression and anxiety. "
" I like 'nerves'! I like the word 'migraineur'. I like the word 'madness'. These are OK words. The 19th century had a very handy term: 'neurasthenic'. I think that's a very useful word. We all know what that means: it means extra-sensitive. "
" I love making up visual works of art in language. I get to be an artist without actually being an artist in that sense. "
" There are no rules in art. "
" The English expression 'to fall asleep' is apt because the transition between waking and sleeping is a gradual drop from one state of being into another: a giving up of full self-consciousness for unconsciousness or for the altered consciousness of dreams. "
" I garden. It's very relaxing to me. "
" Bedtime rituals for children ease the way to the elsewhere of slumber - teeth brushing and pajamas, the voice of a parent reading, the feel and smell of the old blanket or toy, the nightlight glowing in a corner. "
" When I taught writing classes to psychiatric patients, I met people whose stories of manic highs and immobilizing lows appeared to be textbook descriptions of classic bipolar disorder. I met other patients who had been diagnosed with myriad disorders. No doctor seemed to agree about what they actually suffered from. "